Kenyan cyclists believe they can perform better if their cycling federation back home gets organised. Many Kenyans are struggling to keep pace with the leading teams in this year’s Tour du Rwanda.
It has been a tour of varied results for Kenyan cyclists at the ongoing Tour du Rwanda with their hopes in Kangangi Samuel racing for Kenya’s Downunder team.
Cycling is not a popular sport as long distance running that the East African nation is well known for, However, the dismissal performance of Kenyan cyclists can be put down to a number of reasons that include lack of adequate preparations and a poorly funded cycling federation.
Unlike previous editions, the Kenyan cycling federation (KCF) failed to send a team to this year’s event but there was no lack of representation for the East African Nation with three riders in the UCI team Kenya Riders Downunder.
Kangangi who is participating in his second Tour du Rwanda managed to put up a spirited fight finishing in the top twenty on three of the four stages, with an impressive second place on stage two (124.7Km) the highlight of his performance.
The Kenyan cyclist currently in eighth position with a total time of 12 hours 49 minutes and 2 seconds is the highest ranked Kenyan cyclist in the general classification.
Mixed results from the team have left Kenyans two Places off the bottom of a 15-man competition field. But for a country blessed with sporting talent, the struggles of Kenyan riders cannot be put down to the lack of capacity but rather to an organizational issue.
According to Arthur Kungu a former Kenya national team cyclist, lack of prioritization is the major challenge, “Officials put personal interests ahead of development and nurturing talented cyclists,” he said.
Meanwhile, Joseph Areruya was victorious on stage four to win his second stage in this year’s event staying second in the general classification with over a minute behind 2014 champion Valens Ndayisenga who finished the day in 15th place. Ndayisenga maintained his grip on the yellow jersey with a total time of 12h45m36s.
Eighteen- year old Samuel Mugisha once again fetched maximum points in the six climbs on the day as he ensured leading the Kings of the Mountain classification.
The Les Amiss Sportiff rider once again dictated the pace of the longest leg of the competition but just like the past three days his legs gave way with 3Km to the finish as the more experienced sprinters caught up.
Stage five of the Tour will see the cyclists peddle a total distance of 125.8 kilometers from Muhanga to Musanze with the highest of the climbs coming at 92 kilometers.